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Religious Freedom in Indonesia Before and after Constitutional Amendments

Saturday, April 10, 2010

After asking permission to the editor, I decided to revise my paper, previously published in a book by Brainbow Press.  The working paper version is available in the SSRN. Abstract is provided below. Do send me email/post some comments. 
Download here, or read this SSRN page http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1587256
Religious Freedom in Indonesia Before and after Constitutional Amendments

The Indonesian Constitution is very unique in terms of its relation between religion and the state. It is stated there that that the state is based “…on the belief in the One and Supreme God” but at the same time, it never explicitly mentioned the name of any established religion. Historical interpretation into the constitutional drafting process and revelation from the founding fathers on their understanding of 'God' and religion reveals that the Constitution is neutral with respect to religions and worldviews. However, the Constitution does prefer a theistic worldview over the non theist. The consequences for this is that the state may provide financial and other supports to the followers of religions (provide positive discrimination) but must not interfere with the freedom of followers of any other worldviews to profess their beliefs. Recent amendment to the Constitution reinforces this neutral stance. This would have a significant impact on the constitutionality of blasphemy laws. 
Keywords: indonesia, religion, blasphemy, human rights, constitution 
Working Paper Series